Effective LGBT Special Emphasis Program Managers

Perry Stevens
Special Emphasis Program Manager, USDA
[email protected]
Special Emphasis Programs
Page 2
The term “special emphasis program” (SEP) refers
to those programs that focus special attention on
certain specific groups as a result of a particular
law, regulation, or Executive Order.
SEPs were established to address the
employment-related concerns of groups not
specifically included in other programs where a
need for special emphasis or employment
concerns of such groups has been demonstrated.
Special Emphasis Programs - Authorities
Statutory and Regulatory Authority
Executive Orders, Federal Laws, and
USDA Departmental Regulations, DR
Special Emphasis Programs
Special Emphasis Programs Purpose
The purpose of the program is to provide focus
on issues such as employment, retention,
promotion, training, career development, and
advancement opportunities affecting applicants
and employees in NRCS.
Special Emphasis Programs Purpose
The LGBT Special Emphasis Program is in its
Our first priorities are education, awareness,
workplace safety, and inclusion
The goal is to get to the place where we can
focus solely on recruitment, retention, career
enhancement, and other traditional SEP issues.
Role of the Special Emphasis
Program Manager
 Assist leadership to identify barriers or potential barriers
to hiring, development, advancement and retention of
minorities, women, and individuals with disabilities;
 Propose solutions to remove such barriers;
 Provide consulting and program support to help eliminate
Role of the LGBT Special Emphasis
Program Manager
 Make sure the LGBT Special Emphasis Program is on
equal footing with all the other Special Emphasis Programs
 When appropriate, remind management to include LGBT
employees whenever other minority groups are
 Advocate for LGBT inclusive language to be included in all
official documents when possible
Role of the LGBT Special Emphasis
Program Manager
 Always ask questions
 How will this impact LGBT employees?
 Is management being inclusive?
 Are coworkers providing a safe and inclusive work environment?
 Do I have good communication with my Civil Rights Committee,
particularly the chairperson?
 Do I enlist some support from my fellow LGBT Special Emphasis
Program Managers?
 Do I need help from the Department?
Special Emphasis Program Manager
Keep your immediate supervisor informed of SEP
Ensure that an addendum exists to your position
description regarding collateral duties.
Memorandum of Understanding for SEPM
Special Emphasis Program Manager
 How, when, and length of time you will serve as the SEPM
will vary from agency to agency
 Percentage of time spent on program duties?
(recommended 20% work time)
REMINDER: A separate stand alone element should be included in your
performance appraisal.
Reports, Data Sources, and
Management Directive 715 (MD-715)
MD-715 is the policy guidance which the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (EEOC) provides to federal
agencies for their use in establishing and maintaining effective
programs of equal employment opportunity under Section
717 of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Section 501
of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
MD-715 provides a roadmap for creating effective equal
employment opportunity programs for all federal employees
as required by Title VII and the Rehabilitation Act.
Reports, Data Sources, and
Reports, Data Sources, and
Reports, Data Sources, and Terminology
Civilian Labor Force (CLF)
Persons 16 years of age and over, except those in the
armed forces, who are employed or are unemployed and
seeking work.
Reports, Data Sources, and Terminology
Civilian Labor Force (CLF)
Percentages for each minority group presented in the Federal
Equal Opportunity Recruitment Program (FEORP) report are
derived from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Current
Population Survey (CPS).
◦ Monthly survey of households.
◦ Bureau of the Census for BLS.
◦ Cover non-institutionalized individuals 16 years of age or
older, employed or unemployed, U.S. citizens and non-U.S.
Special Emphasis Program
 Conduct an assessment of the program including an
analysis of the workforce data.
 Engage with special emphasis groups in the workforce to
identify concerns or issues related to their employment,
development, advancement, and retention.
 Develop an understanding of the agency’s mission, and be
sensitive to shifts in occupations, policies, or external
factors that may impact the future workforce of the agency.
e 16
Special Emphasis Program Management
What is a Trigger?
trigger is a “red flag.”
 Triggers
are conditions, disparities, or barriers warranting further
trigger may be any piece of information (a statistical barrier, a
trend, etc.) that alerts an EEO professional that additional
scrutiny of the area where the trigger occurred is necessary.
Agencies must investigate triggers to determine whether actual
barriers are at work.
 Remember, triggers
can lead to barriers, but not necessarily.
Special Emphasis Program Management
What is a Barrier?
policy, procedure, practice or condition that limits
employment opportunities for members of a particular race,
ethnic background, gender or because of a disability.
 Some
 Other
barriers may be easy to identify.
barriers are embedded in the day-to-day procedures
and practices of an agency and may appear neutral.
Special Emphasis Program Management
Establish and Maintain Relationships
 National SEPM
 State Leadership and employees
 Human Resources
 Recruitment efforts
 Detail information
 Training
 Workforce Data
 Other Special Emphasis Program Managers
 Organizations related to your SEP area
 Colleges, Universities, Professional Organizations
 Civil Rights Committee
e 19
Special Emphasis Program Management
Maintain program records.
Submit quarterly and annual accomplishment
reports to the NSEPM. Utilize these reports
to document progress.
e 20
Promote Diversity and Inclusion
Be honest: Recognize your own biases, prejudices
and values.
Be a partner: Work on projects with members of
groups different from your own.
Be a role model: Be vocal in opposing prejudice
and help educate others.
Be a teacher: Teach tolerance, encourage openness,
and understanding.
Be a student: Educate yourself and others. Be
knowledgeable about USDA’s Civil Rights Policy
Addressing LGBT Issues
as a Program Manager
What do you need to be prepared for?
◦ Employees will come out to you
◦ Employees of all sexual orientations will seek
you out as the LGBT expert
◦ Build your resources
Create a brief one-page handout with websites and
other contact information local to your area
Addressing LGBT Issues
as a Program Manager
Employees dealing with the coming out
process of a friend or family member may
seek you out
Personal abuse or harassment
Addressing LGBT Issues
as a Program Manager
Transitioning at Work—
Your job?
Be a consistent and reliable resource
for management
Prepare to be an advocate for the
employee who is undergoing
Educate the impacted workforce
Addressing LGBT Issues
as a Program Manager
Be a Resource
◦ Many employees will assume you are the
expert on all things LGBT
◦ You don’t have to know the answer, but you
must know where to find it
◦ Always take comments and questions
For more information, contact:
Perry Stevens
Special Emphasis Program Manager, USDA
[email protected]
Forest Service LGBT SEPM
Pat Jackman
202-205-0989 (TTY users call 711)
[email protected]
Brad Harwood
mailto:[email protected]

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